Restaurant IPO hires new chef

After manning the kitchen at Restaurant IPO since it opened more than a year ago, Chef Chris Wadsworth is stepping down, according to owner/partner Eric Macicek.

Chef Scott Varnedoe, previously of Stroubes, will take over as executive chef at the downtown restaurant next week.

Macicek and Wadsworth both say the split was amicable.

“[Wadsworth] was here day in and day out,” Macicek says. “We are happy to support him in whatever endeavors he tackles next.”

Wadsworth, who was one of “Padma’s Picks” on the web series that previewed the upcoming Top Chef New Orleans and a “Chef to Watch” according to Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, says he has another project in the works and plans to reveal the big news soon.

“My goal is to put Baton Rouge on the map for Louisiana dining,” he says in an e-mail to 225 Dine.
Macicek is excited about Varnedoe’s return. He has experience in the kitchen at Stroubes and has been working for Chef John Folse in New Orleans. Varnedoe was also a part of the development of IPO’s menu and concept.

“When we contracted [Varnedoe] to help us develop the menu in May 2012, we loved how unique things came out and how interesting the items were,” Macicek says. “Scott has a level of execution that is second to none from what I’ve seen.”

Macicek says the restaurant won’t change its menu now, but will look to add some items in the future. “We’re looking to have some more fun in the kitchen and keep it fresh, local and interesting,” he says. —Matthew Sigur